The Pokemon Company has announced a series of tournaments that will replace this summer's live video game and trading card game tournaments. The Pokemon Players Cup is a new official Play! Pokemon online tournament open to players around the world designed to help make up for the lack of in-person tournaments this summer. The winner will earn a Travel Award to a future International Championships event, which are part of the traditional Play! Pokemon Championship series each year. Three Pokemon Players Cup tournaments will take place - one focusing on Pokemon Sword and Shield, one featuring Pokken Tournament DX, and one focused on the Pokemon Trading Card Game.
The Pokemon Company announced earlier this year that they were cancelling several live events, including the North American International Tournament and the Pokemon World Championships. Although players' progress for qualifying for these events will be carried over to next year, the Pokemon Players Cup is intended to provide some competitive play during these times of social distancing.
Each tournament will start in July with a double-elimination bracket based on rating zones (roughly equivalent to Play! Pokemon's regions), with the winner of each bracket moving on to compete in the final stage in August 2020. Some competitors will also compete in a special invitational event, with the winners automatically moving onto the final stage of their respective competitions.
While the tournaments are technically open, players will have to qualify for the tournaments through one of several qualifying events. Those wanting to participate in the Pokemon Players Cup for Pokemon Sword and Shield will need to finish among the top eligible trainers in the upcoming May International Challenge Online Competition, which takes place from May 21 to May 24. Players can also qualify for the Pokemon TCG Championships based on their ranking on the June Leaderboard in the Pokemon Trading Card Game Online.
You can find out more about each of the Pokemon Players Cup tournaments at the Pokemon website. In the meantime, players have only two weeks to build their team for the first Pokemon Players Cup qualifying event, so start strategizing now!
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